Would You Sleep at McDonald's?
One of the weirdest chapters in McDonald's history was the Golden Arch Hotel.
I’ve been waiting for this case study all season, and it’s such a weird business attempt that there are two case studies about the Golden Arch Hotel, an attempted McDonald’s hotel franchise.
In 2001 the CEO of McDonald’s in Switzerland got the green light to apply the franchise DNA of McDonald’s to a hotel. As a frequent business traveller Urs Hammer thought of everything, and used his deep understanding of scalable efficient service to design a hotel like no other.
It’s not really a spoiler to say that it failed. But it failed in a pretty interesting way, and in fact the hotel itself continues to operate under a different brand. The URL goldenarchhotel.com now redirects to the rebranded Radisson, with the super sized McDonald’s still attached to the structure.
The infamous exposed showers are still there, now covered with scenes from around Switzerland to provide a little more privacy.
Join us as we imagine what it was like to pull into the not-so-grand Golden Arch Hotel and chat with our fellow confused travelers over a beer some chicken nuggets at the hotel bar.
K. Mike Merrill and Zach Rose